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Old 15-06-2010, 06:29   #1
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Start from Zero

Hi everybody !

First, i must say that i have exactly zero knowledge and experience regarding sail, boats, and any other related thing... but i want to buy/build a boat someday. I have a lot of technical skills so building should not be a major problem, but about this later.
If anybody have any advice for me please feel free to share your thoughts...
First i would like to know, at least approx, what kind and size of boat is suitable for two people for sailing from uk to australia for example...
Sorry (or no) if this make you smile.
Thank you very much !
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Old 15-06-2010, 06:39   #2
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Sorry (or no) if this make you smile.
!
I pissed myself laughing

Welcome to the forum

"exactly zero knowledge ... building should not be a major problem"

This forum is perfect for you because we won't laugh at you or your dreams and will be very helpful.

My suggestion would be to final a local yacht club and start your sailing by crewing on someone elses boat for the weekend races. People are always looking for crew and its usually pretty good fun Plus the beer is cold at the races end. Ooops! You are in the UK, so... ummmm the beer is warm at the end


Mark
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Old 15-06-2010, 06:48   #3
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Howdy, and it might help if you post a bit more information so people can offer some more pertinent advice.

Ie how much are you looking to spend? That will affect what sort of boat you get, how big a boat you can get and what sort of skills you will need to have.

Then age might help as well, how sprightly or lazy you and your wife are etc etc.

I'll say though that you'll undoubtably recieve some good advice too buy a dinghy sailor first (or a small trailor sailor) to get used to sailing, learn the systems etc. While i personally didn't follow that advice, it is very good advice depending upon your situation.

Ie if you are not planning on leaving for a few years it makes alot of sense.



ps:- Just for a quick bit of info to get you started. IIRC the average size cruising boat is a 41 Foot monohull sailing boat. You can go smaller if cost is a factor or bigger if it's not. Costs tend to increase exponentially, ie a boat that is only 10% longer then a smaller boat will cost alot more then 10% to buy and too maintain. But you could certainly sail from britain to australia in a 40 foot boat. The boat I live on was sailed from germany to australia and is 35 feet.

And as to what type of boat. Well there are monohulls and multihulls (basically a monohull has one hull, it's ye ole' typical boat type stuff, a multihull is a catamaran or trimaran and generally considered to be gosh darn newfangled technoglogy type stuff(just don't tell the polynesians who where using them to colonise the pacific for the past few thousand years).

Mono's are generally considered to be slightly more seaworthy (though it's debatable) and multihulls are generally considered to be alot more liveable due to extra space. Price difference is also considerable. Ie mono hulls are alot cheaper.

and heres a website too get yuo started on choosing a blue-water boat.

Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction
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Old 15-06-2010, 07:18   #4
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yeah, make sense to know a little more about me...
39yrs, healthy and too optimistic and i work hard (if i like what i do...) the budget is set to somewhere around 25.000 pounds (at this moment) only for building. i say building because i am the type of do it yourself. my empiric research guided me to a 37 boat but this doesn't tell me too much at this moment. is too big? is too small? i don't know what it means to handle it. i will approach a marina and see what's about, but i try to learn a little from forum discussions. i have to know if it worth the whole idea, maybe there are some issues that i am not aware at this moment... you know, before startig something is always good to see as much as the whole picture...
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Old 15-06-2010, 08:07   #5
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Aight, well fair warning, i am hardly a sailing/boat/all things nautical expert (only been doing this nautical lifestyle thing for about 9 months).

Still, heres my take on things at least.

Your idea can work, and can be very worth it. But that also depends, some people like it, some hate it, some love it. And i'd wager alot of people fall into all 3 categories depending on the situation.

If you're going to build then accept that it will take along time, and may still end up costing you more then buying 2nd hand. Of course you'll also be alot further ahead in boat maintenance, systems learning etc.


Um generally the longer a boat is, the faster it is and the more seakindly it is (ie it is more comfortable at sea). Of course the downside to that is the longer a boat is (and wider as well) means it will need more sail area too move and will cost more. Boat costs go up exponentially with size. Ie a boat that is 10% longer costs more then 10% to buy/build/maintain.

So if you have 25,000 pounds i'm guessing you probably don't want too go too big. 37 foot is pretty reasonable. It should be fairly easy to handle for you and your partner to sail. I singlehand a 35 foot boat just fine. THough she is a ketch (two masts) which means easier sail handling.

Um you really should go to a marina, do as mark said and volunteer for same races, at least talk to some people at a marina and see if you can tour a boat or ten to see what they're like. Ie see what sort of boat strikes your fancy and how much space you think you'll need, ie a 37 foot +- etc.

But, i'd say yep, definately possible. Just depends how you want to do it really.

With 25,000 pounds you're going to have too make a few sacrifices. I'm not sure about boat costs in the UK but i'd say you'll probalby need to get most stuff 2nd hand. I know you're looking at building but the hull of the boat is only a part of the total costs, all the sails/rigging/interior/deck hardware/electrical systems/safety gear etc etc all add up. Though again, not sure about uk pricing for that sort of stuff. But going by aus pricing it sounds a bit low too get everything new.

Though again depends on what you want. If you fancy an inboat sauna/gym/swimming pool you might be pushing it, if you're happywith solar showers and the like you should be fine.

It is definately possible, people do it with alot less then that. All depends on what your requirements for an enjoyable cruise are.
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Old 15-06-2010, 08:36   #6
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Okay, some things to consider...

If you are going to be working on building the boat part-time (that is, you will have a full-time job and build the boat evenings and weekends) figure on it taking you anywhere from 5 years up to 15-20 years to finish the boat. If you can quit your job and work on the boat full-time that will obviously reduce the amount of time it will take.

Depending on the type of boat you plan to build (steel, aluminum, or wood are the basic choices) you will need to know how to work with that material, obviously. Less obvious is that if you choose a steel boat, for instance, you will still have to know a lot about woodwork, because you will undoubtedly be doing a lot of that for the interior. And if you choose to build in wood you will still need to know something about working with steel and/or aluminum, because there is a lot of both on almost all boats.

Beyond that, though, you will also need to become a pseudo-expert on wiring and electrical systems, electronics, plumbing, diesel engines, and refrigeration. You will have to choose a cooking method--propane, CNG, or alcohol are the usual choices. Add that to your list of things to learn.

In the meantime you have to learn how to sail, sail well, and sail far from land. This, too, takes time. You can't just read a few books and then head out across an ocean. You need to get real-world experience. This will either extend the time that it takes you to build the boat, or it will add significant time after you finish the boat before you can leave on your adventure.

Discouraged yet? If so then this is not the project for you. Every year dozens of people (maybe hundreds) around the world decide that they are going to build a boat and sail off over the horizon. And every year almost as many others give up on exactly the same dream after spending thousands of hours, and thousands of dollars, realizing that it is not nearly as simple as it sounds.

It will take more time, more money, and more dedication than you can even imagine at this point. If you are not willing to stick it out through all of that then you are better picking some other project to consume your life (and a project like this WILL consume your life!).

If, on the other hand, this does NOT discourage you, then maybe you are the rare breed of person who will see something like this through to the end. In that case my advice would be to start by reading. Read through all of the discussions on this board. Ask questions when you don't understand something. Read books like those written by the Pardeys (find their website here: Sailing Blog | Nautical Book Authors | Lin & Larry Pardey). Read some of Steve Dashew's books (website: SetSail: The cruising tools to make it happen!). You could do a whole lot worse than to start with Steve Dashew's "Instant Library".

Look for books on building and fitting out boats by Ferenc Maté. Look for books on boat systems by Nigel Calder and Don Casey. Look for books on sailing and boats by Donald Street. In fact, there is a "The Library" sub-forum here that you should go through, looking for books that get recommended over and over--read them all. Personally, I'm a big user of the library. You'll spend a small fortune buying all of the books that you should read, so I would suggest the first thing to do is get a membership at your local public library!

If all this still sounds like a good idea to you then, good luck!
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Old 15-06-2010, 13:07   #7
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... Beyond that, though, you will also need to become a pseudo-expert on wiring and electrical systems, electronics, plumbing, diesel engines, and refrigeration...
Methinks, you’ll want to be an actual near expert.

The prefix “pseudo” indicates that something is false, fraudulent, or pretending to be something it is not. We have numerous of these type of “expert” here.
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Old 15-06-2010, 13:54   #8
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You're right. Perhaps "quasi-expert" would have been better. Not necessarily an expert-expert, but darn close.
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Old 15-06-2010, 14:15   #9
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Here's some books I really enjoyed, maybe you will like them too.

Thomas Firth Jones: Multihull Voyaging
Chris White: The Cruising Multihull.

Both include thoughtful comments on design, although from very different philosophical viewpoints. Both have plans for home builders.

I know you didn't specifically mention multihulls, but there's something about these boats that appeals to the dreamers, and those who march to their own beat; and you will find plenty in this literature to feed your dreams.
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Old 16-06-2010, 02:18   #10
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thanks a lot to all ! for guides, links, advices....
i am aware that building the hull is maybe the easiest part. like building a house: the structure is not very expensive.... expensive is what you need to make it right for living: wiring, plumbing, tiling, painting, furniture and lot of small items needed. it is a fact that a budget set for any kind of project ends at least 30% greater than intended. even if you know what you are doing. in my case will be more. so i have to collect as much data as i can to see if i can do it. it is not a thing to treat easy... it's about safety...
you know... it's not important how you start something, important is how you finish it.
also i am aware that is a long term project and i need to make a kind of projection for few years. of course, because money is a big issue.
right now i live in london, there are some small marinas with some small boats on the lakes and in next few days i will approach the nearest one. it is a start...

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Old 16-06-2010, 03:15   #11
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On becomming expert...

One of my favorite quotes on amateur boatbuilding is that "You only know how to do something after you've done it." so an amateur built boat can end up as a collection of "projects" that need to be redone.

That said I still believe that an amateur built boat can be more suited for cruising than a production boat, if only because the builder can fix everything on the boat.

Cost for the self build looks to be about the same as to buy an older production boat, but the 4,000+++ hours needed to build a 40' mono is a lot of work.

Unless you have some overwhelming reason why you've got to build in the middle of London I would think that banging your head against a brick wall would have to be way cheaper and would give a better long term result.

If you've really got to build a boat yourself I'd suggest buying plans from one of the reputable catamaran designers, getting all your specialized materials and equipment lined up and then going to the Philippines and building alongside an experienced local builder with as many workers as can fit onto the site.
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Old 16-06-2010, 04:59   #12
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Methinks, you’ll want to be an actual near expert.
I can modestly say one of my best atributes is being near expert! We always anchor near an expert. Preferable one with a howling wife so he's delighted to come over and, for a few beers, is happy to fix my boat.




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Old 16-06-2010, 05:01   #13
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i agree. better shoot myself than building a boat in the middle of london. but i have an opportunity to build it somewhere else. but this mean i have to consider leaving job and my income... so unfortunately i must think to the best compromise. probably i will spend next 2-3years learning as much as possible, saving money and start. shure, it will be easier for me to win the loterry.
i do not believe in miracles, i rely on them...
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Old 16-06-2010, 05:54   #14
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Are their kits? Can you really get into it for 25,000 lbs? I am in the US and I figured cost was closer to around $100,000 investment and then living cost would be around $30,000 a year....
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Old 16-06-2010, 18:30   #15
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Saving for the dream with a significant other...

It's can be surprising just how fast a nice kitty can come together once you set your mind to it. Working hard in London should really rake in the clams.

As you've asked about a boat built for two the most important part of your research has to be the abilities, opinions and feelings of your significant other.

I hope I'm not too far out of line but thinking floating nest rather than boat may be the way to go.
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